Namibian politican criticized for 'expropriation' statements
Namibia's Deputy Minister of Fisheries Kilus Nguvauva has called for 'exproporiation' of some commercial farms in the country's east and has drawn criticism from farmers, lawyers and fellow politicians, reported The Namibian.
Nguvauva has been involved in a dispute with several farm owners in the Omaheke region over the past few months, where he is a councillor for the Steinhausen constituency. The disputes relate to his claims to have the right to enter private properties as he was acting on behalf of farmworkers.
The owners of commercial farm Bashee 226 have since issued Nguvauva a letter not to set foot on their property, while the Derks family who owns the farm Mooidraai has launched a criminal trespassing case against him as well, reported The Namibian.
But the Deputy Minister argued it was his duty as a representative to deal directly in labor disputes, telling the newspaper any farmer who denies "the Government entry to the farm, (that farm) should be expropriated".
In a press release he then questioned if "Swapo (political party) is governing this country or is it some of those white commercial farmers that are governing the country through their legal practitioners?"
One lawyer told the newspaper the comments were akin to 'hate speech and incitement', while a Ministry of Lands spokesperson told a press conference the agricultural industry should not be rocked with empty threats of expropriation.
"As Namibians we should be very careful of what we say in public. Once we start bringing uncertainty amongst commercial farmers, there will be less investment in the agricultural industry," the spokesperson was quoted as saying.